Moving is a daunting process, whether you’re moving from a studio apartment or a 4-bedroom home. It always takes a lot more planning and time than you think it will.
Avoid Moving Stress
Accept that this will undoubtedly one of the most stressful times of your life. There are a lot of little details to take care of and everything needs to be done in a certain order. Sure, you could procrastinate and just start throwing things into random boxes the morning of your move, but things will go a lot more smoothly if you follow these tips.
Make Lists or Use Apps
Get organized. Write out your own list of things you need to do before the move or download a moving checklist. There are also apps that can help you stay organized. This will help you remember all of the little things you need to do, like transfer utilities, set up appointments for hooking up the internet, and change your address.
Call Ahead for Boxes
Grocery stores are one of the best sources of free moving boxes, but you can also get them from copy stores or other types of retail stores. The key is to look for medium-sized boxes that close up. Call ahead about boxes, and the workers will set them aside for you. In many cases, they’ll even put your name on them, which can deter other free box seekers from breaking into your stash.
Time Your Move for the Middle of the Month
Most people are moving at the beginning or the end of the month. This means that you might have a harder time booking a moving company or renting a moving truck. There will also be more competition for the free boxes. Mid-month moves are usually less stressful. This is especially beneficial if your lease is up at the end of the month, as it will give you ample time to clean up the old place to get your deposit back.
Start with the Kitchen
Most people start packing books because they’re easy to pack and you don’t use them all the time. However, this can make you feel like you’ve done more than you really have. Instead, start with the kitchen, where you’re faced with oddly shaped items that are harder to pack. Meal planning can help you avoid the worry that you might need something you packed already.
Use Your Own Soft Things as Protection
Packaging materials can quickly get expensive. Fortunately, you don’t really need to wrap all of your valuables in bubble wrap. Instead, use things like towels and pillows to protect items and fill up the empty space in the boxes. This method might go against the idea of sorting room items by box, but it can save you a lot of money.
Get Your Garbage Bags Out
As you go through the process of packing your stuff, you’re bound to find some things you haven’t used since the last time you moved. Throw these things away. Donate them if you feel bad about sending them to the landfill. The less stuff you have to unpack at the new home, the easier your life will be. Moving is the perfect time to declutter your life.
Use a Lot of Other Bags
When people think “moving” they always think of boxes, but bags can be beneficial as well. For instance, before you pack liquid items like cleaners or even shampoos, you can wrap them in a used grocery store bag. If anything leaks, it won’t get over everything. Sandwich bags are also good for holding small items like screws, and gallon-sized bags are good for holding all the pieces of your kid’s favorite toy.
Don’t Pack Clothes
You don’t necessarily have to pack up your clothes, particularly if you’re moving on your own. Simply take the drawers out of the dresser with the clothes inside. That makes it easier to move. Keep clothes in your closet hanging by slipping them into an open garbage bag and tying it around the top. When you’re at the new place, you simply hang up the clothes again and take the garbage bag off. No fussing around with the hangers.
Identify Your Boxes
It’s best to keep all of the items in a box from a single room, then label the box so you can easily place it in the right room. There are a couple of different ways of labeling your boxes. Some people like to write the room name or a short description of what’s in the boxes on the outside. If you do this, write on the side so that you can see when the boxes are stacked. Another way to do this is by marking the boxes with color, assigning each room a different color.
Keep Doors Open When You Move
As you bring boxes or furniture inside, it’s a pain to have a door that shuts behind you, particularly if that door has an automatic lock. Make your life easier by wrapping a rubber band from one door knob around to the other. The extra padding along the edge of the door means that the door doesn’t latch and you’ll be able to easily push it open.
Change Address Online or By Mail…Then Contact New Residents
Many people forget to change their address until it’s been a few days. You can change your address by filling out a little post card at the post office or by using their online system. The online version does have a small fee, though. If possible, do this a few days before your move so that you don’t forget. You can set the date that you want the change to happen. Inevitably, though, it’s common for some of your mail to mistakenly go to your old place. One of the best ways to deal with this is to send a little welcome card to the new residents. Let them know your new address and ask them to please forward anything they receive.
Don’t Forget to Clean
It’s significantly easier to clean an empty home than one that’s full of furniture and boxes. Whether you’re thinking about giving your new home a deep clean to make it feel more like your own or want to leave the old place looking like new, it’s easier to do this when it’s empty.
Always give yourself more time than you think you’ll need for a move. You’ll be surprised by how long things end up taking. Fortunately, if you use our tips, your move will be easier.